Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Is Obama Losing Groud With Jewish Dems?

Could President Obama be losing ground with traditionally Democrat Jews?
For decades the Democrat Party has pretty much taken the Jewish vote for granted. And, why not? Jews have pretty much consistently supported the liberal line and voted Democrat. They were one of the keys to Obama's victory in 2008.
True, George W. Bush made some inroads with Jews in 2000 and 2004 and Karl Rove charted what appeared to be the first stages of a sound strategy to peel off thin slices of the Jewish vote -- just enough to begin to make a difference.
While many Jewish voters preferred Hillary in 2008, they fell in line behind Obama despite their doubts about his position on Israel. The economy played a key role in '08 and there was the ever-present factor of liberal guilt as Obama sought to be the first African-American president.
But now, some Jewish voters (enough to give Dems concern) are expressing misgivings and even threatening to bolt.
Here are some excerpts from a story at Politico:
“There’s an inclination in the community to not trust this president’s gut feel on Israel and every time he sets out on a path that’s troubling you do get this ‘ouch’ reaction from the Jewish Community because they’re distrustful of him,” said the president of a major national Jewish organization, who declined to be quoted by name to avoid endangering his ties to the White House. . .
When Obama was running, there was a lot of concern among the guys in my group at shul, who are all late-30s to mid-40s, who I hang out with and daven with and go to dinner with, about Obama,” recalled Scott Matasar, a Cleveland lawyer who’s active in Jewish organizations.Matasar remembers his friends’ worries over whether Obama was “going to be OK for Israel.”. . .
Now Matasar says he’s appalled by Obama’s “rookie mistakes and bumbling” and the reported marginalization of a veteran peace negotiator, Dennis Ross, in favor of aides who back a tougher line on Netanyahu.. . .
“He’d been very ham-handed in the way he presented [the 1967 border announcement] and the way he sprung this on Netanyahu,” Matasar said.
Click here to read more.

BTW: The president is in Philadelphia today for a Big Fundraiser and word is it's getting harder and harder to convince major Jewish allies to write big checks for Obama's campaign. Will any of this make a real difference in the end? Stay tuned.

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